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Chemistry of Art

This guide was created for Dr. Geeta Govindarajoo's Chemistry of Art class.

Scholarly and Other Sources

Usually when you do academic research, you will need to find scholarly articles written by experts within a specific field. For this class you may want to find articles that are from popular sources or "trade" magazines. These kinds of articles are often used for background information, or for very recent news. They may be written by experts, but are not subject to peer-review.

Scholarly articles are usually longer, and may include charts, tables, or graphs. At the beginning they will contain an abstract, a paragraph which describes the whole article. They will also contain a references section at the end, an often lengthy bibliography of the sources they cited. Scholarly articles are sometimes difficult to understand if you are not an expert in the subject matter, because they are written by scholars at academic institutions, for other scholars. They undergo a process called peer-review, where other experts will do a blind review of the article to decide whether or not it should be published. This process can take months or even longer, which is why popular sources report on topics much more quickly.

Scholarly Sources- Art Databases

A multi-disciplinary database containing a large collection of peer-reviewed full-text journals in a broad range of academic disciplines.

Provides citations and abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art. Entries date back as far as the late 1960s. Includes comprehensive information on media beyond the traditional art-historical focus on painting, sculpture, and architecture.

Contains back issues of Art Index from the first volume, 1929, through 1984. The information indexed is largely limited to the fields of art history, architectural history, and the visual arts.

Provides high-quality digitized images from numerous museums, academic institutions, and private foundations in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences. 

A comprehensive bibliography of scholarly writing about the history of Western art from late antiquity to the present. The database is particularly strong in European art from the medieval through modern periods, and in the indexing of foreign language materials.

Full-text and citation information to a wide range of arts and humanities periodicals.

Provides full-text access to five important visual arts reference sources (listed below). A majority of the content comes from Grove Art Online, which contains over 45,000 articles on every aspect of the visual artspainting, sculpture, graphic arts, architecture, decorative arts and photographyfrom prehistory to the present day.

Grove Art Online

The Oxford Companion to Western Art

The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms

Provides full-text access to more than 320 scholarly journals in the arts and humanities; social sciences; and mathematics. 

Scholarly Sources- Journals

You can search within these journals for articles on your topic. Click the links below to see the access available through the Libraries. Then choose a link to the journal, checking to see if the most recent articles (current access) are available. Once you are at the journal site, you can search in the journal using keywords for your topic.

Check links for current access

​Check links for current access

​​​Check links for current access

Check links for current access

Most chemistry journals contain information that is at a level appropriate only for chemists or scientists in related fields. However, one chemistry journal that you may want to search for articles on your topic is the Journal of Chemical Education. If you are off campus, start from the Libraries website to connect. Articles are available to you from 1994 to the present.

Chemistry Databases

The following database may be helpful for finding information on the toxic effects of chemicals. For a complete listing of chemistry databases, see our Databases page, and select Chemistry from the subject dropdown. Please email me at if you need help searching these or other databases.

Popular/Trade Sources- Art Magazines

Google Search tips

  1. Put quotes ("") around multiple words to search as a phrase rather than individual words. Good for finding exact quotations.

    Example: ["In one of its panels a very singular figure riveted my whole attention."]

  2. Use a star (*) for wildcard searching, which finds multiple endings of a single word.

    Example: [paint*] finds paint, paints, painter, painting, etc.

  3. Use minus sign (-) to eliminate word or term from search.

    Example: [jaguar speed -car] finds information on the animal

  4. Add the term "site:" to limit searching to a single website or domain.

    Example 1: [futurism] searches only the Met's website

    Example 2: [futurism] searches only university websites

  5. Find more search box tips here.

Taken from Megan Lotts' Art Library Research Guide for Google Scholar

Print Journals at the Art Library

These are a few of the journals we have that aren't online, if you wish you can go to the Art Library to browse them and others in print. To check the hours for the Art Library, see this page:


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